In my last two posts I discussed the fact that readers are not going to hope and fear for a character unless that character raises their sympathy and sense of deservingness. But is that enough? Do readers stick around if the characters are utterly boring?
Archive for the ‘Information Center’ Category
The unpublished often believe that agents exist because of the publishing funnel, and to be sure, that has helped cement agents’ central importance to the publishing business. But what really enables agents to exist is the fact that up until recently, every deal, big or small, was up for negotiation–the size of the advance, the terms of the contract, the rights up for discussion.
All of us have an automatic scale of justice inside of us. We can’t turn it off. Nor can we ignore it. It’s very simple. If someone’s bad outweighs their good, then we think they don’t deserve good things. Conversely, if someone’s good outweighs their bad, we think they should be happy.
The Banff Centre, located in Banff National Park of Canada, has issued a press release that indicates they are accepting applications for upcoming courses.
I have also heard some use “piracy” as a low-price argument. My two cents: Pricing your products at a lower price because you think they’re going to be stolen is not a business model. Why? Because you are defining your sales goals on either making more than nothing or generating revenue to cover losses you have not experienced.
Sympathy starts when we see someone in trouble. That’s not the only thing that’s required. Some people who are in terrible trouble only evoke pity or even antipathy. So there’s more to this than trouble, but trouble is where sympathy starts. So what kind of trouble are we talking about?
Writing is a rewarding and fun gig, but finding the time to write can be a challenge. The only commodity an author has are her words, and the only way to produce that commodity is to get some quality butt-in-chair action. Contrary to urban legend, stories don’t write themselves or grow on Novel Trees. So how do you find the time to make the magic happen?
Surprise is one of the vital elements in story making precisely because it makes things unpredictable. It makes hope, fear, worry, and curiosity possible.
There’s nothing like writing during adolescence. The intensity, focus, and emotional strength that such a writer brings to her/his work is, like a map frozen in time, sharply delineated and can’t be captured except as a memory of once walking in those lands.
When I’m teaching, I do bring some books to class in order to point students toward them. I don’t think books are a substitute for the act of writing, but they can help focus and direct your practice and give you a list of things to work on that might not otherwise occur to you. Here’s a list of my top ten for speculative fiction writers focusing on their craft. I was sad to find some not available on the Kindle, but where possible, I’ve pointed to the e-version.